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Daisy Miller (Henry James) and The Other Two (Edith Wharton) - Essay Example

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Daisy Miller" (Henry James) and "The Other Two" (Edith Wharton)   The society during the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century was undergoing some modifications despite the domination of the old patriarchal values and class distinction. With the rise of women suffrage movements and increased participation in the labor force, some women were subtly aware of their rights and became rebellious, but some led their life diplomatically abiding by social traditions, especially when they did not have the courage to face the consequences of disobeying the social norms (McMichael, Leonard, Fishkin, Bradley, Nelson & Csicsila 4)…
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Daisy Miller (Henry James) and The Other Two (Edith Wharton)
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Download file to see previous pages The paper undertakes an analysis of two works – the novella Daily Miller by Henry James and the play, ‘The Other Two’ by Edith Wharton in this light especially comparing the interaction of human nature with social traditions. The novella ‘Daisy Miller’ reveals a timeless story of an innocent and courageous American girl who does not abide by the social customs despite warnings from her friends. She reaches Switzerland with her family and meets Winterbourne through her young brother Randolph. Winterbourne is an American who lived in Italy since he was a boy. Another character, Mrs. Walker is also American, but she also has been working in Rome for years. Both of them (Winterbourne and Mrs Walker) have adapted to the values of the European society and understand the restrictions that a young girl is supposed to follow especially during the late nineteenth century Europe. Daisy is presented here as the ‘outsider’ to social customs. ...
Walker tells her that she is old enough to be talked about just as she is old enough to be out in the night. Towards the end of the story, when Winterbourne finds Giovanelli and Daisy sitting at the Colosseum he gets angry with the former and tells Daisy that she is under the risk of catching Roman fever. She does not care and laughs it away. In the end she dies of the fever and Giovanelli also declares to Winterbourne that Daisy was the most innocent woman he met. The novel is a timeless novel if seen from the perspective of individuality versus social customs. Though the customs have changed but the conflict between individuality and the traditions remains the same. In contrast to Daisy the readers are introduced to the conservation aristocratic personality of Mrs. Costello who criticizes Daisy’s shamelessness in agreeing to visit places with a gentleman who she has known only for a brief time. Her innocent ignorance stands in stark contrast to the concepts of a ladylike behavior and the bindings of the society due to which she cannot see through the intention of Giovanelli and her dream to be a part of the rich urban society carries her in the wrong direction but what makes her character significant is the brave way in which she accepts death without any repentance whatsoever for the steps taken. (James) The female central character of the play ‘The Other Two’, Mrs. Alice Waythorn according to her present status has married twice before. Mr. Waythorn has the impression from his wife’s account of her past that she has been brutally treated as it is conducive for a man to think this way, rather than the reverse. With time he notices that his wife is a liar though she seems to be extremely sophisticated and apparently sensitive to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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